Alright, I know, the journey has begun, so it's not the best title...oh well. I realized when I forgot what I ate for dinner in London, I'd better not let too much time pass in between these so I can capture all the details. Sorry if this is a long post, but I'll be getting you caught up on all of London.
I flew to Ireland a few years ago and do not remember being as tired as I was when we arrived in London. This could have something to do with the whirlwind leading up to my departure. I got engaged on Saturday (this is still so damn exciting), flew to NY on Sunday for meetings all day Monday and Tuesday, and then flew back late Tuesday night only to get on a plane the following morning. So we landed Thursday and got in a cab to our hotel. Our cabbie dropped us off at another hotel with a similar name and sped off before we realized it was the wrong hotel. After a trek with our luggage to the correct hotel, we were told our room wasn't ready and wouldn't be for another few hours. So we strolled to the nearest street with restaurants and settled into a little Italian place and had a breakfast pizza and pancakes. This is when we first realized we needed to split food because our waistlines and wallets couldn't handle eating like this.
After brunch, we walked to nearby Hyde Park where we found a beautiful little pond and a gorgeous castle. Later we found out Kate, William, and baby George live there. Umm, wish I would have known that bit if info! Here is the castle below along with the nearby gardens
After saying hello to the newest royal family member we took a much needed nap at the hotel and then set out for the worst batch of fish and chips ever served. However, we did have the meal accompanied with a Guinness, so I guess it wasn't that bad. Plus, we found a little gelato place and ate this monstrosity...
Day 2 we were determined to have a more productive day and boy did we. We were up bright and early and went out on the hop on hop off tour. Definitely touristy, but quite a good deal. We got to see all of London (which is really on 1 square mile) and all of the surrounding areas. We saw Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Crown Jewels, took a boat ride on the Thames, and then finished with a ride on the London Eye.
It started raining so I obviously looked delightful. We sought refuge at a little restaurant called All Bar One that is right by the London Eye. Mmm. We were starving so we got a cheese plate, a trio of sliders, rosemary and Parmesan cheese French fries, and then washed it all down with some wine. After a day of touring, this was the perfect meal.
The next day we took a walking tour to see the changing of the guards. It ended at the Buckingham Palace which was very impressive. After that, we were determined to see the miles and miles of shops along Regency Street and Oxford Street. Holy hell are there a lot of stores. Unfortunately, they charge American prices, but in pounds so they are much more expensive..like 1.67 times as expensive. Needless to say, I'm not rocking new European fashion.
That night I convinced my mom to be 'adventurous' and try Spanish tapas because every time we walked by this restaurant, it was jam packed and it had a bunch of stickers on the window with high accolades. It was delicious. We ordered a jug of sangria because we deserved it after our day of walking. My mom agreed to ordering the bread with ham and tomato spread, croquettes, scallops, patatas bravas, and asparagus. Super adventurous, right? Lol my mom is still adapting to 'other cultures'. This was my favorite meal in London. The service was great and it wasn't soggy fish and chips.
I almost forgot to mention Harrods. I don't know how because it was the best store I've ever been to. We walked in and were greeted by light mists of the highest end perfumes in the world. As we were walking through the store, we ended up in every foodies heaven. Counters upon counters of food. Breads, cheeses, meats, chocolates. You name it, they had it. We went to go to the bathroom and walked through the worlds finest selection of wines and champagne (how funny, my iPad wanted to replace champagne with champs...get it heather dubrois).. We walked up the stairs and decided to have tea and crumpets. Yea, our pinkies were up. When were trying to exit we found the luxury jewelry department. Harry Winston, Cartier, DeBeers, etc. and seeing all these diamonds sure did make me miss my ring.
This concludes our London leg of the trip. My highlights were the boat ride along the Thames, the Crown Jewels, and Harrods. I'll pick back up tomorrow with Paris since we have some more to see tomorrow.